In this series Alan Hill surveys some of the lesser-known books of Scripture.
Everyone knows that Proverbs contains proverbs, and lots of them. There are over 900, in fact. It is here that we find great wisdom expressed in few words. The book of Proverbs is like a mirror to show us our defects and a guidebook to show us how to live.
All ranks of life are covered: young and old, men and women, rich and poor. All areas of life are covered: our speech, our looking, our hearing, our eating, our drinking, our work, our play, our family, our children, our parents, our money, our government.
Every one of those 900-odd Proverbs is a gem, but if we think that Proverbs is just a book of 900 random (albeit wise) sayings then we will miss a great deal of treasure. We will miss why this is a hidden gem of a book. How can we find this hidden treasure? As we read the book we need to grasp seven points.
Sometimes in Proverbs, contrasting thoughts are paired: ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful’ (27:6).
They are proverbs, not promises